The PCA Blog - Cleveland

Joe Thomas to Keynote First PCA-Cleveland Youth Sports Impact Awards March 13


This year marks the 20th anniversary of Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA), a national nonprofit committed to developing BETTER ATHLETES, BETTER PEOPLE through youth sports. In celebration of that milestone, the Cleveland Chapter of PCA (PCA-Cleveland) is holding its inaugural Youth Sports Impact Awards Dinner and Fundraiser on March 13, 2018, at the Music Box Supper Club in Cleveland.

The dinner, which will be emceed by Matt Underwood, play-by-play broadcast announcer for the Cleveland Indians on FOX SportsTime Ohio, will feature a special keynote from Cleveland Browns offensive lineman and legend, Joe Thomas, and will be Northeast Ohio’s first and only event entirely dedicated to honoring coaches, organizations, corporate and civic leaders, and student-athletes who are making a significant positive impact in our region through youth and high school sports. The event will also serve as the Chapter’s signature annual fundraising program, raising critical dollars to help impact more programs and reach more kids throughout Northeast Ohio.

PCA-Cleveland’s Marty Mordarski discussed the work of the Chapter and Youth Sports Impact Awards on WKYC’s "We the People"


The local individuals who will receive recognition that evening includes: 

Triple-Impact Competitor® Scholarship Award Winners

Five (5) local graduating high school senior student-athletes will be awarded a $1,000 Triple-Impact Competitor® Scholarship by PCA-Cleveland. The award is presented to student-athletes who have made a significant positive impact in their schools, on their teams, and in their communities by demonstrating a commitment to making themselves better, their teammates better, and their sport better. This year’s recipients, who represent a multitude of sports including football, track, softball, basketball, and more, include:

Double-Goal Coach® Award

PCA's Double-Goal Coach Award is given to youth and high school sports coaches from throughout the U.S. who embody the ideals of the Double-Goal Coach, striving to win, while also pursuing the more important goal of teaching life lessons through sports. National finalists from each of PCA’s 17 Chapters are selected, and those selected by PCA-Cleveland to represent Ohio will be honored at this event including:

  • Levi Nelson, Rittman High School, Football
  • Nicholas Hellwig, Sycamore High School, Water Polo
  • Adam Beasley, Hilliard Davidson, Lacrosse
  • Dale Leeper, Marietta High School, Cross Country

Luminary Award

The PCA-Cleveland Luminary Award is presented to a coach or administrator who has transformed a community, team or institution through inspirational leadership, unwavering commitment and impactful results. The Luminary Award winners epitomize remarkable selflessness, integrity and service to others.

When faced with the heartbreaking and tragic loss of their son, Alec, during a high school hockey practice, parents Stephanie and Scott Kornet found the strength to use their experience to help educate parents, coaches, and administrators about sudden cardiac arrest in young athletes. They started the 4Alec Foundation in Alec’s name to raise funding and awareness around screenings and the use of AEDs, and have inspired many with their story of courage and unselfishness. 

For all these reasons and more, Stephanie and Scott are being honored with our PCA-Cleveland Luminary Award this year, joining recent past winners Matt Englander and Terry Lipford

Triple-Impact Executive

Following the Triple-Impact Competitor model, PCA-Cleveland will recognize a local business and civic leader who has enjoyed a remarkable personal career and commitment to mastery, built an organization with a positive culture and has shared success with employees and colleagues, and has given back to his or her community to make it better with a strong track record of philanthropy – while also showing a clear passion for and commitment to elevating the impact of sports in our region.

Given the impressive and inspiring trajectory of her professional career; the incredible work that she has done to rally the business, civic, and football community around the vision of the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s youth sports complex; and the Hall of Fame’s commitment to providing experiences and education to help young people and the adults who support them emphasize character and encourage the pursuit of excellence, Anne Graffice, VP of Strategic Adventures for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, will be recognized as this year’s Triple-Impact Executive. 

“We are thrilled to be honoring so many deserving student-athletes and other community, civic, and business leaders who are making such tremendous positive contributions to youth sports in our region,” Mordarski adds. “Negative stories about the problems and pitfalls of youth and high school sports seem to grab the lion’s share of headlines and attention, so we feel it’s time that these folks who do so much and are making a truly positive impact finally have a platform through which their efforts can be recognized, celebrated, and hopefully emulated.” 

Joe Thomas, who will be delivering the keynote address for the event, will reflect on how his experiences from his storied 10-plus-year NFL career relate to those of the award-winners and embody PCA’s Triple-Impact Competitor model. 

“Joe’s work ethic, resilience, and dedication to his craft, his teammates, and this region are a testament to what being a Triple-Impact Competitor is all about, and we’re incredibly excited for him to share his thoughts and an inspiring message to our honorees and attendees at our event,” Mordarski adds. 

Event Will Help PCA “Cover Cleveland”

The funds raised through this event will provide critical support for the trainers, infrastructure, technology, and materials that are needed to deliver the workshops and resources that PCA provides to its partner organizations throughout Northeast Ohio. Proceeds will directly support partnerships with groups like Cleveland Municipal School District and the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission’s Youth Education through Sports initiative which will bring PCA programming to over 2,500 kids within the City of Cleveland this year. 

A fun twist to the event will include an opportunity for attendees to pledge additional donations based on PCA-Cleveland’s performance and ability to reach certain programming milestones throughout the remainder of its fiscal year. This program is being coordinated through a special alliance with a local fundraising company, The Pledge Fund

In addition to giving PCA-Cleveland more motivation to fulfill its mission, guests who complete a “pledge card” at the event will be entered into a drawing at the end of the evening that will include prizes such as a live in-studio “sit in” during ESPN Cleveland’s weekday afternoon show, The Next Level, featuring Jerod Cherry, Emmett Golden, and Matt Fontana; four (4) behind-home-plate tickets to a 2018 Cleveland Indians home game, and a personalized autographed helmet signed by Joe Thomas that night.

“We are very excited about this unique opportunity for our supporters to provide our team even more incentive to make sure we stay focused on reaching as many youth as possible throughout Cleveland and Northeast Ohio,” says Mordarski. “And we’re looking forward to a really fun and inspiring evening that will spotlight the importance of our mission and the great work of so many people throughout our region.” 

Event Sponsorship and Tickets

The event is being supported by PolyOne Corporation, EY, Enterprise Holdings, and PCA-Cleveland’s Chapter Supporters including FOX Sports Ohio, University Hospitals Sports Medicine, and the Cleveland Indians. Promotional support is also being provided by ESPN Cleveland.

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